Category Archives: Blackout Poetry

Monday with the Muse

nothing

Helix Nebula (aka: The “Eye of God” Nebula)

into nothingness

think of being
past the point of
existence, a place
without imagination
everything coming
apart, a blur at the
edge of tangled
twilight, left to be
buried beneath
daydreams, life
translucent, as
real as black stars
buried in ash

~kat


A Blackout Poem inspired by the poem below:

The Celebrated Colors of the Local Sunsets
by Matthew Wimberly

The day feels as thin
as the letters fading from
half a can of spray paint
a decade ago on the brick wall
of the closed down
Suder Feed Supply where
we used
to
skateboard and think
of all the crimes the police
could punish us with
for
being poor, and teenagers,
for wearing skin-tight jeans
and growing our hair
like a girl’s, for almost anything—
at least it felt like it then.
I can’t imagine home
without thinking of the
past
and the faintest stir
of indignation. It’s beside
the point.
Today, I’m revisiting Miłosz
with a pen pressed to the pages
making notes in the margins.
In 1987, in Berkeley,
he is doing the same, and thinking
back on the end
of his countries, their
“posthumous
existence.” Like him
I know
a place
I can’t return to, and without
much imagination can picture
everything coming apart, one way
or another. When I imagine
how it might go, it is
just like this: I am memorizing
bird calls and wild
plants which become
a blur
at the far edge of my yard,
their Latin names
tangled
in my mouth. Didn’t I
already show you this?
The country at
twilight
and a far-off darkness
of pines, a deep red sky
imagined for this page. What I
left out
wasn’t meant
to be remarkable—
a bruise faded from the surface,
the wounds
buried
like overwintered wasps
plotting assassinations
beneath the snow. So let’s see
if I can draw it into focus,
like the truant
daydreaming in class
suddenly with something to say—
the one end I know complete.
Once, I thanked my father
for the gift of this
life,
something he didn’t hear.
It was two years before he died
and he was high
on the
translucent painkillers
the hospital ordered to keep him
comfortable after surgery.
It was
as real as anything
I ever told him. I stood
over him in the hospital bed
and traced the outline of his body
under the gown, the collar and hip bones,
his stomach, his penis, and balls,
numbered the
black stars
printed on the cotton and listened
to him breathe, mouth
open, just so, a way
into the hive growing in his chest.
He didn’t hear, and then, he couldn’t.
In those years, I barely spoke to him
and now not an hour can pass
I don’t hear him, now that
what he has to say is always
final, always a last word. And
Miłosz is
buried in Kraków
and my father has entered
eternity as
ash, and I am
certain what doesn’t last
lasts—Hydrangea quercifolia,
Hypericum densiflorum,
Solidago rugosa


Monday with the Muse

quiet

i know quiet

i know quiet
no wind
breathing lightly
twilight to tranquility
the slow languorous
hum of silk on sand
the tremor
the tremble
of words that hide

~kat


A Blackout Poem inspired by the poem below:

I Know It Will Be Quiet When You Come
Joseph Auslander – 1897 – 1965

I know it will be quiet when you come:
No wind; the water breathing steadily;
A light like ghost of silver on the sea;
And the surf dreamil
y fingering his drum.
Twilight will drift in large and leave me numb
With nearness to the last tranquility;
And then the slow and languorous tyranny
Of orange moon, pale night, and cricket hum.

And suddenly there will be twist of tide,
A rustling as of thin
silk on the sand,
The tremor of a presence at my side,
The tremble of a hand upon my hand:
And pulses sharp with pain, and fires fanned,
And
words that stumble into stars and hide.


Tuesday with the Muse…”mother”

mother

mother

my mother is everywhere
among the things I return to
engrained in memory
forever open to me
then closed, hidden, dark,
mother, spilling everywhere

~kat~


A Blackout poem inspired by the poem “The Question of My Mother” by Robin Ekiss:

The question of my mother is on the table.
The dark box of her mind is also there,
the garden of everywhere
we used to walk together. 

Among the things the body doesn’t know,
it is the dark box I return to most:
fallopian city engrained in memory,
ghost-orchid egg in the arboretum, 

 hinged lid forever bending back and forth
open to me, then closed
like the petals of the paperwhite narcissus.
What would it take to make a city in me?

Dark arterial streets, neglected ovary
hard as an acorn hidden in its dark box
on the table: Mother, I am
out of my mind, spilling everywhere.

Source: Poetry (November 2007)


Monday with the Muse

bend in the road

photo courtesy of shrutikhanna at Pixabay.com

the bend in the road

at the bend where
the roadside devours
the dust of summer
we carry with us days
to hold in our hands;
to live as if death
were impossible

~kat


A Blackout poem inspired by today’s poem of the day at PoetryFoundation.org by Li-Young Lee, “From Blossoms”.

From Blossoms
BY LI-YOUNG LEE

From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.

From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we  devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.

O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.

There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.

Li-Young Lee, “From Blossoms” from Rose. Copyright © 1986 by Li-Young Lee. Reprinted with the permission of BOA Editions Ltd., http://www.boaeditions.org. Source: Rose (BOA Editions Ltd., 1986)


Midnight with the Muse ~ surrendering

surrendering

in the belly of
grace I fall
I long to drink
deep of its
softness
to celebrate
the blink of
beautiful

~kat


A Blackout Poem inspired by the poem by Dante Micheaux below:

The Second Beautiful Harvest

By Dante Micheaux

I wake in the golden belly of this abode

and sense some diurnal grace at work.

I take my body to the fall, to bathe

and anoint my genitals with shea.

I have made my journey to the cold hills

to commune with my people there.

I come for the second beautiful harvest

and have waited long to look into its eye.

The harvest hosts libations, the meal

and my desireso I drink the deep

heady liquid of its languid stare, under

the hum of many voices: burgeoning

friendships and reunion in the low light.

I break into the soft weirdness of injera

and dip my fingers into the meat stew,

to celebrate the glory of the kings.

The clear splendor of the serving boy,

his slow blink as of a camel, does not

distract me—here to reap but seduced

by the second beautiful harvest.

Copyright © 2019 by Dante Micheaux. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 14, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.


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